Project Details

A two-year project to evaluate and report on interventions that work best for adult learners with dyslexia. A collaboration of the Primary ITO, The Skills Organisation, Capital Training, ServiceIQ, Whitireia New Zealand and Petersen Consulting.

Aims:

The aims of the project include:

  • a greater awareness of the challenges facing dyslexic learners
  • improved knowledge and understanding of how to meet the needs of dyslexic learners
  • development of best practice guidelines for tutors, employers and tertiary education organisations
  • development of guidance and advice for dyslexic learners on how to manage their learning.

Methodology:

The project builds on past research carried out between 2014 and 2015, which investigated the learning experiences and needs of adult dyslexic trainees in the Primary ITO. Supporting dyslexic trainees in classroom and workplace environments

This time, the Primary ITO joins together with The Skills Organisation, ServiceIQ, Whitireia New Zealand, Capital Training Limited and Petersen Consulting to evaluate interventions for dyslexic learners in a number of sectors beyond the primary sector.

Interventions featured in the study include mentors and reader-writers; technological aids such as Smart Pens; dyslexia information for tutors; written material for dyslexic learners; and information on dyslexia for employers, supervisors, work colleagues and family members.

The project's methodology includes a literature review, baseline data analysis, tutor observations and interviews with 80 to 100 dyslexic learners, 30 employers and 20 tutors.

Team

primary ITO

Mike Styles

Project Leader

Primary ITO
primary ITO

Marianne Farrell

Primary ITO
skills org

Lee Agnew

The Skills Organisation
capital training

Mike Kelleher

Capital Training
capital training

Sue Turnbull

Capital Training
serviceIQ

Dianne Boss

ServiceIQ
Whitireia

Mary Silvester

Whitireia New Zealand
Lesley Petersen

Dr Lesley Petersen

Lead Researcher

Petersen Consulting

Status

Completed

Funding

$299,825.00 (excl GST)

$149,847.00 National Project Fund
$149,978.00 Primary ITO, The Skills Organisation, Capital Training, ServiceIQ, and Whitireia New Zealand

Key Findings

  • Dyslexia is a persistent challenge to success and achievement for dyslexic learners in the tertiary setting.
  • Dyslexia affects tertiary learners in a variety of ways.
  • Tutors need a range of skills and teaching strategies to best support dyslexic learners.
  • Learning technologies are essential to assist dyslexic tertiary learners.
  • Assessments are highly stressful for dyslexic learners and need to be fit for purpose.
  • Learning support strategies that work in the classroom are similar to those that work in the workplace.
  • The impact of family, parents and partners is a key element of success for dyslexic learners.
  • Leadership is a key determinant of any initiative to support dyslexic learners.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop an updated Dyslexia Support Wrap-around Model, with a new dimension added to emphasise the end goal of an empowered, and independent learner.
  • Recognise that all dyslexic learners are unique, and that the support and tools they need must be personalised to each individual, the model emphasises the learner’s centrality.
  • Focus on the learner, rather than the context, to determine the best strategy for empowerment.
  • Develop resources and good practice guides for use across the vocational education and training sector.
  • Introduce or improve practice as a dyslexia-friendly organisation.

Report

Evaluating the effectiveness of support interventions for adult dyslexic learners

A report prepared by Mike Styles, Marianne Farrell, Dr Lesley Petersen, Mary-Ellen Mik-Dekker, Lee Agnew, Dianne Boss, Mary Silvester and Helen Borren.

(PDF, 3.1 MB, 84-pages).

  • 6 November 2018
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Report

INTERIM PROJECT UPDATE | Empowering learners with dyslexia

A two-page update prepared by Ako Aotearoa and the Primary ITO for people involved in and interested in the project, outlining an example of student success. 

  • 9 November 2017
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Poster

How to recognise dyslexia in adult learners

An infographic poster showing some of the ways to recognise adult learners who have dyslexia. 

(PDF, 360 KB, 1-page)

  • 1 October 2018
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Tool

Best Practice Guide - Employers

A best practice guide to help support and teach adult learners with dyslexia.

(PDF, 1.4 MB, 2-pages)

  • 28 October 2018
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Tool

Best Practice Guide - The positive features of Dyslexia

A one-page guide prepared by Ako Aotearoa for anyone interested in the positive features of dyslexia.

(PDF, 800 KB, 1-page)

  • 28 October 2018
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Tool

Best Practice Guide - Tutors and Teachers

A two-page guide prepared by Ako Aotearoa for tertiary education tutors and teachers who teach dyslexic learners.

(PDF, 1.3 MB, 2-pages)

  • 28 October 2018
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Tool

LEARNER PROFILE – Liam Wilkie's Journey

A learner profile resource to help support and teach adult learners with dyslexia.

(PDF, 890 KB, 1-page)

  • 28 October 2018
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Tool

LEARNER PROFILE – Mikalah O'Riley's Journey

A learner profile resource to help support and teach adult learners with dyslexia.

(PDF, 610 KB, 2-pages)

  • 28 October 2018
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Tool

MENTOR PROFILE – Roseanne Robertson

A mentor profile resource to help support and teach adult learners with dyslexia.

(PDF, 423 KB, 1-pages)

  • 28 November 2018
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Workshop

Supporting adults with dyslexia in tertiary education and training: an introduction

Get hands on exposure to the latest dyslexia screening tools; examine the additional challenges that learners face beyond phonological decoding and find out the latest thinking on Positive Dyslexia and some of the new technological aids.

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